I didn’t get far with my day yesterday before the news was filled with murder, and soon thereafter #JeSuisCharlie – and with good reason. It’s criminal to murder. It’s unacceptable to take lives over a difference in aesthetic, opinion, lifestyle – I mean, let’s face it, murder just isn’t okay.  How do people ever get the idea that there is adequate justification to murder? That’s a level of righteous entitlement that frustrates and angers me, and I feel helpless. That’s perhaps the point; to render voices silent. I am moved by the outpouring of support as artists of all sorts stand, come forward, and make statements of their own – because we are all Charlie Hebdo; artists take risks with words, images, and songs. Every one with a voice, everyone with something to share, everyone with a message, everyone with an experience outside the ordinary, everyone moved to create art, compose music, or put words in a row, is Charlie Hebdo. Charlie Hebdo isn’t an individual anymore than The Onion is an individual – and the more powerful for having distilled the voices of many into one; this terrorist attack resulted in real human lives lost, real murder, and it’s really not okay.

This is why we can’t have nice things. How many times do we have sit back in shock and horror because some lunatic jackass(es) thinks they have the right to take a life to make a statement or prove a point? It’s horrific, and fairly stupid, that this goes on… but we live in a world where whole nations commit to acts of genocide, slaughter, land-grabbing, and warfare, over opinions, over resources, and over ideology. I defy you to find justification for any of it that is ‘rational’, reasonable, or truly necessary…but we all grow up in a world where our own leaders set an example that says to us all that we are not safe, and that our lives lack value, and that for some there is justification for murder.

I, too, am Charlie Hebdo. Aren’t you? What will you do to make the world safer for the artists who amuse, who enlighten, who delight, who move you to a different understanding than you had before? We need your help, your support, and the power of your convictions. Each of us, all of us, are Charlie Hebdo; don’t let your voice be silenced.

Tiny worlds exist between one perspective and another along my way.

Tiny worlds exist between one perspective and another along my way.

My own day was much less eventful than Wednesday in Paris. I went to my medical appointment, arrived on time, had my procedure. No amount of comforting medically dismissive preparatory dialogue is adequate to describe how much this procedure hurt…but the acute moment was very brief. “You may feel some cramping…” was definitely not accurate, relative to my own experience. It was vile. Invasive. Painful. I spent the remainder of the day gently, taking care of me in the company of my traveling partner. I called it a night early. Today I feel okay, although a little achy in an area I usually don’t feel much moment-to-moment. In the context of global terrorism, murder, and the viciousness of free-range human primates it seems a small thing. I can’t help but wonder…what would the perspective be of the wee life forms living in the moss growing in the crack on a brick wall, on our madness?

Today is a good day for perspective. Today is a good day to treat myself gently – and to treat the world gently, too; we’ve been through a lot, haven’t we? Today is a good day to be kind, out in the world.